Maker Faire

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Is the maker movement bad for engineering students?

WASHINGTON–Ken Connor has seen a few engineers pass before him in his decades of teaching engineering at Renssaeler Polytechnic Institute (RPI), so I thought he'd make an interesting sounding board when we met here during the recent USA Science and Engineering Festival. More design resources He was an interesting sounding board, but not for the reason I anticipated. One of

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A space of their own making

AMHERST, Mass.–A crucial component of encouraging the next generation of students in science and engineering is the maker/hacker culture that is blossoming across the country. More design resources We saw it in Detroit at Maker Faire; we saw it in the cornfields of Illinois; and we saw it in the rolling hills of Western Massachusetts, where professors and administrators have

Carlos Nielbock windmill at Maker Faire Detroit 2011

Tilting up windmills

DEARBORN, Mich.–At its fiercely pounding heart, electronics innovation is a graceful confluence of art and science. This becomes more evident as Moore’s Law, open-source software and, increasingly, open-source hardware conspire to lay innovation in the hands of the masses. More renewable-energy design insight Exhibit A: Carlos Nielbock, a legend here among Maker Faire attendees, participants and organizers. German-born Nielbock is

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Life at Kettering

Drive for Innovation talks about Kettering student’s ‘engineering bug’ 8/17/11 Read more…  

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A tribute to innovation’s past

DEARBORN, Mich.–We can’t do justice on a road trip about innovation without admiring the innovations of the past. When we hit Maker Faire Detroit, we were delighted to realize it was located inside and outside of the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn. Ford assembled over the years a huge collection of iconic American technology (and next to the museum lies

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The time-travelling radio

DEARBORN, Mich.–The story of the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company is the stuff of legends, not the least of which is how an established company, realizing it would ultimately be doomed if it stuck to its core product line, shifted horses mid-race and became a household name: Philco. Depending on your age, your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents had a Philco radio,

Eric Barch's Arduino robot rolls at Maker Faire Detroit

All hail Mantis, the open-source robot

DEARBORN, Mich.–To chat with Eric Barch is to peer into the near future. He’s an engineering student at Kettering University who’s been bitten with the hacker/make bug. He’s emblematic of a new generation of engineers in or just out of school who were inspired to get into the profession because they get to make things. But his latest cool project

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Maker Faire: Innovation inspiration

(Odometer: 2,547 miles) DEARBORN, Mich.–So often we bemoan how few kids are entering engineering and other technical disciplines in college. Yet so often we hear from engineers who were inspired to get into engineering because, at very young ages, they made something. Kevin Smith at Illuminati on this trip. Jeri Ellsworth earlier this year. At this confluence of two forces

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The Way Back Machine

The Way Back Machine

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